Inside the Sisterhood of 'Mom'

"I'm proud of our show because [there] isn't a lot of gender identification with our problems," Anna Faris tells THR. "They could happen to anybody."
Courtesy of CBS

When it came time to prepare for the episode that would serve as Mom's third season premiere, the cast came to a semi-shocking realization. "We looked around at the table read, and it was eight women over 30," series star Anna Faris (Christy) recalls to The Hollywood Reporter.

The women at that table read — series regulars Faris, Allison Janney, Mimi Kennedy, Jaime Pressly and Beth Hall, as well as guest stars Ellen Burstyn, June Squibb and Lauri Johnson — were very cognizant that what they were experiencing was a rarity.

"We were like, 'Holy shit! Has this ever happened?' " Faris shares. "It felt huge that we get to work with so many women."

The CBS comedy has been praised — and received awards recognition — for its portrayal of addiction, sobriety, teen pregnancy and loss. But the female focus of the series that has emerged (due partially to the show shifting more to an emphasis on the core family and the addiction support group) has been a "wonderful, empowering thing to feel," according to Janney.

"We take it in all the time," Janney continues. "All the time I'm grateful for it. Anna and I, pretty much every day when we're working [go], 'Oh my God, we are so lucky, this is so fantastic.' Not that we're down on men… but the fact that the heart of the piece is the relationship between [us], and the relationship with all the women in our lives, it's a great, wonderfully satisfying thing to have. ... The disease of alcoholism doesn't discriminate, so therefore you have a wide berth of characters."

It's not just the storylines that have brought such a diverse group of women together, but the quality of the writing on Mom. "It's the best feeling I could possibly have at this point in my career," Kennedy adds. "I've done a lot of work I'm proud of, but this work has really given me something extraordinary. ... I think [Mom co-creator] Chuck Lorre and everyone on the writing staff is very serious about their wish to give something good out of their creative talent."

For Pressly — who's now a series regular, after recurring in season two — joining the comedy has meant she has also joined a sisterhood. "It's really nice, at 38, to come to work with a bunch of other seasoned women who have stories to tell like I do, who have lived their lives, and are comfortable in their own skin," she says. "We can come and be ourselves and vent."

Although the show is focusing on what these women are going through, "I'm proud of our show because [there] isn't a lot of gender identification with our problems. They could happen to anybody," Faris points out. "It's very liberating to be complicated. It's very restricting to have your main goal be getting a guy to fall in love with you."

Mom premieres Nov. 5 at 9 p.m. on CBS.

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